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Saturday Morning Quarterback

Andy Reed areed@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:57 PM

Election season is over. Football season is next.

Actually, the former is an interesting prelude to the latter.

Around The Democrat newsroom, the focus in recent days was preparing to cover Thursday’s election and draw up game plans for the website and Friday’s print editions.

Friday night football is much the same way.

Elections, especially this one where there were lots of races, are full of expected blowout wins and surprise upset victories and losses – just like Friday night football.

For some races, the winner takes it all and is soon sworn into office. For primaries, the winner advances to the general election in November against the winner from the other party – just like a playoff at the end of a season.

Sports and politics do intermingle. One of the questions leading up to two nights ago was whether Bud Brandon, a 300-game winner as Wilson Central’s girls’ basketball coach, would be able to win his first election.

He wasn’t. But former coaches Randall Hutto and Bill Robinson are 2-0 in their second careers. In fact, both got politics’ version of a bye as they ran for re-election unopposed.

Both of them have a ways to go to catch records held by several public officials past and present, including that of Robert Dedman. An end on some of Lebanon’s legendary football teams in the early 1950s, Dedman retired undefeated in I don’t know how many elections for several offices.

Politics and football even shared the Thursday night lights.

Driving to Watertown for Walter J. Baird’s middle school football game, I passed a polling place and saw Debbie Martin waving a campaign sign for her candidate.

When I arrived at Watertown, guess who was on the field as the umpire? Debbie’s husband, Rick, himself a coaching and politicalveteran, having won some and lost some in both.

Sitting high up in the stands was Robinson, whose family this stadium and the new high school stadium a mile away are named for, sitting with his wife, Shirley. It’s the first time I can remember Bill Robinson actually sitting in the stands in “his” stadium.

Since he had a bye, the Robinsons could join the high voter - er, make that fan - turnout at the historic stadium.

As an aside, the atmosphere in the venerable stadium was outstanding, especially for a middle school game. As nice as the new Robinson Stadium is, it’s going to take time for it to build the character of the old place.

But the new venue will have its grand opening soon enough as football season kicks off.

Best of all, we won’t have to see all those campaign signs littering the sides of the roads.

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